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and seemed to reach the hearts of many. coursed to them again from Matt. xxv. 31-46. also the word appeared to be accompanied with a divine influence, and made powerful impressions upon the assembly in general, as well as upon numbers in a very special and particular manner. This was an amazing season of grace. "The word of the Lord," this day, "was quick and powerful, sharper than a two edged sword," and pierced the hearts of many. The assembly was greatly affected and deeply wrought upon; yet without so much apparent commotion of the passions as appeared in the beginning of this work of grace. The impressions made by the word of God upon the audience appeared solid, rational, and deep; worthy of the solemn truths by which they were produced; and far from being the effects of any sudden fright or groundless perturbation of mind. O, how did the hearts of the hearers seem to bow under the weight of divine truths; and how evident did it now appear, that they received and felt them, "not as the word of man, but as the word of God." None can form a just idea of the appearance of our assembly at this time but those who have seen a congregation solemnly awed, and deeply impressed by the special power and influence of divine truths delivered to them in the name of God.
Dec. 16. "Discoursed to my people in the evening from Luke xi. 1–13. After having insisted some time upon the ninth verse, wherein there is a command and encouragement to ask for the divine favour, I called upon them to ask for a new heart with the utmost importunity; as the man mentioned in the parable, on which I was discoursing, pleaded for loaves of bread at midnight. There was much affection and concern in the assembly, and especially one woman appeared in great distress for her soul. She was brought to such an agony in seeking after Christ, that the sweat ran off her face for a considerable time together; (although the evening was very cold;) and her bitter cries were the most affecting indications of her heart."
The remainder of this day he spent chiefly in writing; some part of the time under a degree of melancholy; but some part of it with a sweet ardency in religion.
Dec. 21. "My people having now attained to a considerable degree of knowledge in the principles of Christianity; I thought it proper to set up a catechetical lecture among them; and this evening attempted something in that form; proposing questions to them agreeably to the Assembly's Shorter Catechism, receiving their answers, and then explaining and insisting as appeared necessary and proper upon each question. VOL. X.
After this I endeavoured to make some practical improvement of the whole. This was the method I entered upon. They were able readily and rationally to answer many important questions which I proposed to them; so that, upon trial, I found their doctrinal knowledge to exceed my own expectations. In the improvement of my discourse, when I came to infer and open the blessedness of those, who have so great and glorious a God, as had before been spoken of," for their everlasting friend and portion;" several were much affected, and especially when I exhorted, and endeavoured to persuade them to be reconciled to God through his dear Son, and thus to secure an interest in his everlasting favour. So that they appeared not only enlightened and instructed, but affected and engaged in their soul's concern by this method of discoursing. After my labours with the Indians, I spent some time in writing some things divine and solemn; and was much wearied with the labours of the day, found that my spirits were exI am conscious tremely spent, and that I could do no more. to myself, that my labours are as great and constant as my nature will admit; and ordinarily I go to the extent of my strength, so that I do all I can: but the misery is 1 do not labour with that heavenly temper, that single eye to the glory of God, that I long for."
Lord's day, Dec. 22. "Discoursed upon the story of the young man in the Gospel, Matt. ix. 16-22. God made it a seasonable word, I am persuaded, to some souls. There were several of the Indians newly come here, who had frequently lived among Quakers; and, being more civilized and conformed to English manners than the generality of the Indians, they had imbibed some of the Quakers' errors, especially this fundamental one, viz. That, if men will but live soberly and honestly according to the dictates of their own consciences, or the light within, there is then no danger or doubt of their salvation. These persons I found much worse to deal with than those who are wholly under Pagan darkness; who make no pretences to knowledge in Christianity at all, nor have any self-righteous foundation to stand upon. However, they all, except one, appeared now convinced that this sober honest life of itself was not sufficient to salvation; since Christ himself had declared it so in the case of the young man. They seemed in some measure concerned to obtain that change of heart, the necessity of which I had been labouring to show them.
This was likewise a season of comfort to some souls, and in particular to one, the same mentioned in my journal of the 16th instant, who never before obtained any settled comfort, though I have abundant reason to think she had passed a saving change some days before. She now appeared in a heavenly frame of mind, composed, and delighted with the divine will. When I
came to discourse particularly with her, and to inquire of her, how she obtained relief and deliverance from the spiritual distresses which she had lately suffered; she answered, in broken English,* "Me try, me try save myself; last, my strength be all gone; (meaning her ability to save herself;) could not me stir bit further. Den last me forced let Jesus Christ alone send me hell; if he please." I said, " But, you was not willing to go to hell; was you?" She replied, “ Could not me help it. My heart, he would wicked for all. Could not me make him good, (meaning, she saw it was right she should go to hell, because her heart was wicked, and would be so after all she could do to mend it.) I asked her, how she got out of this case. She answered still in the same broken language," By by, my heart be glad desperately." I asked her, why her heart was glad? She replied, "Glad my heart, Jesus Christ do what he please with me. Den me tink, glad my heart Jesus Christ send me to hell. Did not me care where he put me; love him for all.” &c. She could not readily be convinced, but that she was willing to go to hell if Christ was pleased to send her there; although the truth evidently was, that her will was so swallowed up in the divine will, that she could not frame any hell in her imagination which would be dreadful or undesirable, provided it was the will of God to send her to it. Toward night discoursed to them again in the catechetical method, which I entered upon the evening before. When I came to improve the truth which I had explained to them, and to answer that question, " But how shall I know whether God has chosen me to everlasting life?" by pressing them to come and give up their hearts to Christ, and thereby "to make their election sure," they then appeared much affected: and persons under concern were afresh engaged in seeking after an interest in him; while some others, who had obtained comfort before, were refreshed to find that love to God in themselves, which was an evidence of his electing love to them.
Dec. 23 and 24. "Spent three days in writing with the utmost diligence. Felt in the main a sweet mortification to the world, and a desire to live and labour only for God; but wanted more warmth and spirituality, and a more sensible and affectionate regard for the glory of God.
Dec. 25. "The Indians having been used on Christmas-days to drink and revel among some of the white people in these parts; I thought it proper this day to call them together and discourse to them upon divine things; which I accordingly did from the parable of the barren fig-tree, Luke xiii. 6-9. A divine influence, I am persuaded, accompanied the word at this
* In proper English, “I tried, and tried to save myself, till at last my strength was all gone, and I could not stir any further. Then I was at last obliged to let Jesus Christ alone, to send me to hell if he pleased.
season. The power of God appeared in the assembly, not by producing any remarkable crisis, but by rousing several stupid creatures, who were scarcely ever moved with any concern before. The power attending divine truths seemed to have the influence of the earthquake rather than of the whirlwind upon them. Their passions were not so much alarmed as has been common here in times past, but their judgments appeared to be powerfully convinced by the masterly and conquering influence of divine truths. The impressions made upon the assembly in general, seemed not superficial, but deep and heart-affecting, O how ready did they now appear universally to embrace and comply with every thing which they heard, and were convinced was their duty. God was in the midst of us of a truth, bowing and melting stubborn hearts! How many tears and sobs were then to be seen and heard among us! What liveliness and strict attention! What cagerness and intenseness of mind appeared in the whole assembly, in the time of Divine service. They seemed to watch and wait for the droppings of God's word, as the thirsty earth for the "former and latter rain.”
"Afterwards I discoursed to them on the duty of husbands and wives, from Eph. v. 22, 23. and have reason to think this was a word in season. Spent some time further in the evening in inculcating the truths on which I had insisted in my former discourse respecting the barren fig-tree; and observed a powerful influence accompany what was spoken.
Dec. 26. "This evening was visited by a person under great spiritual distress; the most remarkable instance of this kind I ever saw. She was I believe more than fourscore years old; and appeared to be much broken and very childish through age; so that it seemed impossible for man to instil into her any notions of Divine things; not so much as to give her any doctrinal instruction, because she seemed incapable of being taught. She was led by the hand into my house, and appeared in extreme anguish. I asked her, what ailed her? She answered, her heart was distressed, and she feared she should never find Christ. I asked her when she began to be concerned, with divers other questions relating to her distress. To all which she answered, for substance, to this effect: That she had heard me preach many times, but never knew any thing about it, never felt it in her heart, till the last Sabbath, and then it came, she said, all one as if a needle had been thrust into her heart; since which time, she had no rest day nor night. She added, that on the evening before Christmas, a number of Indians being together at the house where she was, and discoursing about Christ, their talk pricked her heart so that she could not set up, but fell down in her bed; at which time she went away, as she expressed it, and felt as if she dreamed, and yet is confident she did not dream. When she was thus gone, she saw two paths; one appeared very
and crooked; and that turned to the left hand. The other appeared straight, and very narrow; and that went up the hill to the right hand. She travelled, she said, for some time up the narrow right hand path, till at length something seemed to obstruct her journey. She sometimes called it darkness; and then described it otherwise, and seemed to compare it to a block or bar. She then remembered what she had heard me say about striving to enter in at the strait gate, although she took little notice of it at the time when she heard me discourse upon that subject; and thought she would climb over this bar. But just as she was thinking of this, she came back again, as she termed it, meaning that she came to herself; whereupon her soul was extremely distressed, apprehending that she had now turned back, and forsaken Christ, and that there was therefore no hope of mercy for her.
"As I was sensible that trances, and imaginary views of things are of dangerous tendency in religion, where sought after and depended upon; so I could not but be much concerned about this exercise, especially at first; apprehending this might be a design of Satan to bring a blemish upon the work of God here, by introducing visionary scenes, imaginary terrors, and all manner of mental disorders and delusions, in the room of genuine convictions of sin, and the enlightening influences of the blessed Spirit; and I was almost resolved to declare, that I looked upon this to be one of Satan's devices, and to caution my people against this and similar exercises of that nature. However, I determined first to inquire into her knowledge, to see whe ther she had any just views of things which might be the occasion of her present distressing concern, or whether it was a mere fright, arising only from imaginary terrors. I asked her divers questions respecting man's primitive, and more especially, his present state, and respecting her own heart; which she answered rationally, and to my surprise. I thought it next to impossible, if not altogether so, that a Pagan, who was become a child through age, should in that state gain so much knowledge by any mere human instruction, without being remarkably enlightened by a divine influence. I then proposed to her the provision made in the Gospel for the salvation of sinners, and the ability and willingness of Christ "to save to the uttermost all, old as well as young, that come to him." To this she seemed to give a hearty assent; but instantly replied, “ Aye, but I cannot come; my wicked heart will not come to Christ; I do not know how to come," &c. This she spoke in anguish of spirits, striking on her breast, with tears in her eyes, and with such earnestness in her looks, as was indeed piteous and affecting. She seems to be really convinced of her sin and misery, and her need of a change of heart. Her concern is abiding and constant, so that nothing appears why this exercise may